Summary: Study of Revelation, using "the Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible" as a guide. Includes work sheet for participants. boxes & underlined blanks may be missing
Rev 3: 1-6 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ’These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.
2 "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.
3 "Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
4 "You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
5 "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
6 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Do you know what causes a church to die?
1. They become satisfied with themselves.
2. They refuse to change, they keep things the way they have always been.
3. They live on past accomplishments.
4. They dream of days gone by, they long for the way it used to be.
A church like this may very well be respected and even loved by the community, because all of the outward evidence says that they are alive while on the inside they are dead or dying.
This was the church @ Sardis. They had an excellent reputation and were highly respected, but they were dead, there was no heartbeat.
Sardis has 2 historical facts that we know about. Sardis was city with 2 sections. The 1st development set on a ridge that stuck out from the side of a mountain. It was 1500 ft. straight up with no way to overtake it. Sardis was safe from any enemy. The city out grew the space so another development began @ the base of the mount. Legend has it that gold was found just lying on the ground in the river that flowed through the city.
Sardis had a history of wealth and security, but by the time John wrote this letter, the city’s wealth had passed and most of the glory faded. The people had become flabby and complacent, living on their past.
The city had only been conquered twice & Both times were because of a false sense of security.
They failed to post enough guard to properly watch the enemy. Once while under attack by Cyrus of Persia, a Sardis guard dropped his helmet down the cliff & climbed down the crevices to get it.
Well the enemy was watching and later that night they climbed up, using the very same crevices they saw the guard using.
When Alexander the Great conquered the city someone remembered this and they to used the same strategy to conquer the city. The church understood what Jesus meant when He said “watch and strengthen… hold fast… I will come on thee as a thief…”
VERSE 1. THE SPEAKER:
Jesus said that He has the seven Spirits of God. This is a reference to the Holy Spirit of God.
a. The number seven means the sevenfold ministry of the Holy Spirit. Jesus makes this clear in the upper room when He said who the Holy Spirit was to be.
1. He is the Comforter, the other Helper Jn. 14: 16 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever”
2. He is the Spirit of Truth Jn. 14: 17 “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
3. He is the personal presence of Christ Jn. 14: 18-20 “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
19 "A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.
20 "At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”
4. He is the manifestation of Christ with the believer Jn. 14: 21-22 “Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them, and I will love them. And I will reveal myself to each one of them."
22 Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name) said to him, "Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large?”